Sometimes, looking at what gets shared most frequently on social media gives you an insight into life you perhaps weren’t expecting. For all the rolling of eyes you get from ex-journalists, academics and keyboard warriors about using audience data, that data is often very revealing.
Take Kodi boxes. Kodi what? A set-top streaming box which, if not used properly, can actually be illegal to use. Stories about these boxes have become the cat nip of local journalism in recent months – and before the shriek of ‘clickbait’ goes up, the stories tend to be read by predominantly local audiences, who spend a long time on the pages with the articles.
This week, the most ‘viral’ story from the regional Press (viral defined as most over-performing posts from news brands) came from the Yorkshire Evening Post, with news on possible 10-year jail sentences if caught using a Kodi box the wrong way. It’s a great example of taking a national news story (about a new Act becoming law) and putting into relevant terms for local readers:
Not far behind was news in Chester that the local zoo was hiring an Elephant keeper. Proof, if it were needed, that the presence of animals in almost any story gives it the same sort of catnip status currently applied to Kodi stories:
In Scotland, The National published a video guide on the STV voting system used in council elections north of the border – and it proved to be the biggest native video hit of the week from the regional Press on Facebook. Who said you can’t make politics interesting?
In Manchester, an appeal to share from the Evening News was made after news broke about a man who had gone missing on a stag do. The story had a tragic ending, but as we see most weeks, readers are only too happy to share when missing appeals are made by news publications:
Rarely a week goes by without some sort of survey listing the best place for this or that. But if we as journalists get bored so such lists, there’s little sign to say the same is true of our readers. What feels like the weekly survey slot this week goes to the Edinburgh Evening News:
The most shared breaking news story of the week was in Burton, in Staffordshire, where the Burton Mail was covering a suspected bomb scare:
In Manchester, the breaking news story of the week was the shooting of a city centre bar. It’s the sort of brazen gang crime which city centres like Manchester haven’t seen for many a year. A start of a trend? Hopefully not.
Gas might be the invisible killer (sort of) but that doesn’t stop it being good for a Facebook Live. The Falkirk Herald went live for 55minutes covering a gas leak, and the video was watched over 155k times. It was also one of the most shared stories of the week from the regional Press:
In Plymouth, the story of a family searching Dartmoor for a dog which was scouring Dartmoor looking for his family was, perhaps not surprisingly, very popular among readers on Facebook:
And finally this week, it’s good to see football humour is alive and well, and doing well on social media … but maybe not if you’re a Sunderland fan:
This week I used data from Crowdtangle to source these stories.